By Faith Moyo
Over the past 32 years human rights in Zimbabwe have been blatantly violated by a black government that masquerades as a champion of peace and democracy, thus the Mugabe regime has eroded all norms of 21st century civilization.
In contrast, Ian Smith’s Rhodesian era turns out to be better than “our” black government.
Most black Zimbabweans would now prefer Ian Smith as leader to Robert Mugabe—though the human instinct of freedom remains high on the agenda. The Mugabe regime has perpetrated serious crimes against its own people—black-on-black.
For what’s the purpose of freedom when freedom kills you, when freedom denies you free speech, when freedom kills your relatives, when freedom starves you, when freedom excludes you on tribal grounds?
I always hear some of my fellow Shona friends saying the crisis in Zimbabwe started in the 1990s when Mr Mugabe started expropriating white farmland including denying Morgan Tsvangirai presidency. No for us in Matabeleland the crisis began right in 1980 when Mr Mugabe became Prime Minister of the newly independent Zimbabwe. Up to 20 000 people were massacred by the North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade in the early 1980s.
Two human rights organisations, the Legal Resources Foundation and the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) Zimbabwe however, produced a report entitled Breaking the Silence, Building True Peace in 1997, detailing human rights abuses during the Gukurahundi era. Yet, you still find some people saying “Mugabe was fine up until the 1990s”. This explains how Mr Mugabe has successfully divided our beloved country.
The hope is now based on amplified calls for Gukurahundi justice, thus compensation and reparations. A Bulawayo-based pressure group, Ibhetshu LikaZulu has warned that they intend to launch a High Court bid to force Mr Mugabe to release two reports containing findings of official inquiries into the Matabeleland disturbances in the 1980s.
Ibhetshu LikaZulu has already engaged human rights lawyers, Abammeli BamaLungelo Abantu Network, to force Mugabe to release the Dumbutshena Commission and Chihambakwe Committee reports, which have never been made public although they were presented to him.
The group argues that publicising the documents was necessary to achieve national healing and reconciliation.